To avoid miscalculation, act against JeM and other terror infra: US Congressman’s blunt message to Imran Khan

A powerful US lawmaker on Thursday urged Pakistan to take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups including Jaish-e-Mohammed to avoid the kind of “miscalculation” that the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has talked about.

Prime Minister Khan cautioned India Wednesday against any “miscalculation” in case of an escalation between the two nuclear-armed countries and offered to defuse tensions through talks.”I ask India: with the weapons (nuclear you have and the weapons (nuclear we have, can we really afford a miscalculation? If this (situation escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s,” Khan said.

“To avoid the kind of miscalculation Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan rightly fears, Pakistani leaders must take demonstrable action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil,” said Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The lawmaker called on both the countries to exercise restraint to de-escalate the tensions, asserting that he was extremely concerned over the escalation of India-Pakistan hostilities triggered by the Pulwama attack.”I urge both countries to exercise restraint and deescalate tensions. Pakistan’s announced repatriation of Wing Commander Abhinandan to India is a good first step toward enabling meaningful dialogue to resolve this conflict,” he said.

Engel said he remained extremely concerned about the ongoing Pakistani support for terrorist groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM.Pakistan-based JeM claimed the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.Following the incident, India bombed and destroyed JeM’s biggest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC early Tuesday, killing a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.

On Wednesday, Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested an Indian Air Force pilot.